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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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Minister said it contained the large areas of the Pripet Marshes, which are
of no value to anybody. I would point out that it also includes the only
oilfield in Poland and valuable deposits of phosphates^ which are immaterial
to Russia but of great value to Poland.
Mr. Price : " Would my hon. Friend bear in mind that the Polish
population of this territory is quite a minority ? "
Mr. Thomas : " When my hon. Friend says a minority, he is speaking
of a figure just short of 50 per cent. The question which I would like to
put to him is : Why does he assume that the Soviet Union alone has the
right to be a multi-national State ? There are many nationalities in the
Soviet Union—about 200—and why should there not be two or three
nationalities in Poland ? I cannot see the force of the argument that the
Soviet Union has the right to include all Ruthenians and all Ukrainians------
It is claimed, on strategic grounds^ that the Russian frontier should be
extended to the West. That may be right and inevitable, but it makes
nonsense of the Atlantic Charter ... I do not believe that the proposal will
produce security, which must be based on a general organisation for peace
and;, still more., on confidence and mutual trust between the nations. I
think we ought to have urged upon the Soviet Union that she should
attempt to secure the peace in a different way. In any case, if the Soviet
Union is afraid of further aggression from Germany, it is very hard that
Poland should be the sufferer. . . . There is, however, one thing we can do,
and that is to get a firm pledge from the Government that they will not
recognise the Lublin Committee. We are entitled to get a firm assurance
from them that they will continue to recognise the Polish Government of
which Mr. Arciszewski is the head in London ... as the only Government
of Poland ... I agree with an earlier speaker that it would be idle to go into
the personal lives of the members of the Lublin Committee, but I think I
may say that, if ever it become a Government, it would be the most curious
medley since the administration of Uncle Tom Cobleigh. It is a Govern-
ment composed of one party and one party only j nine out of the fourteen
members of it are avowed members of the Communist Party. It is true that
the Union of Polish Patriots, out of which it has arisen, is said to be composed
of a very large number of different parties, but we in the Labour Party at
least are sufficiently familiar with that technique. We have learnt to recog-
nise the Communist Party under many different names, and at any rate
nine out of the fourteen members of the Lublin Committee are open members
of the Communist Party. The Polish Government is solidly based on four
parties which, in pre-war times, could count on the support of 80 per cent.
of the electorate against the two per cent, of the Polish Communist Party.
The Polish Communist Party was so infected with Trotskyism that in 1937
it had to be disbanded and it does not dare, even now, to call itself the
Communist Party> but calls itself instead the Polish Workers' Party.
" It is perhaps appropriate here to say something—because the Prime
Minister referred to it—about the composition of the present Polish Govern-
ment . . . Here I would like to address something to my Socialist colleagues
in this House ... I cannot lightly abandon a Government which has a
Socialist at its head with such a distinguished record as Mr. Arciszewski^
and includes such men as Dr. Prager and Mr. Kwapinski, supported by
such men as Mr. Ciolkosz. At our Labour Party Conference they have no
doubt been singing to-day about ' dungeons dark/ but these men have
lived in * dungeons dark.* Mr. Kwapinski was sentenced to death on one
occasion for his Socialist beliefs and only his tender years secured commuta-
tion to imprisonment. Mr. Arciszewski was leading strikes at the age of 15,
and taking part in the revolution of 1905 before I was born ... I was saying